LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney Opening Event Day 2

Yu Chen holds court after Day 2; that’s a wrap!

From our 187 starters that came into Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Opening Event, we’re now down to a dozen and it’s Melbourne’s own Yu Chen that bagged a monster chip lead!

The former Crown Melbourne croupier was virtually flawless in her performance today, highlighted by the elimination of Milan Stojkovic on the bubble-bubble before almost stacking Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson leading up to the last three tables.

Chen then raked in one of the biggest pots of the tournament so far, clashing with Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event final tablist Lei Yang in the lead-up to the final level of play to end up bagging 6,020,000.

In second chip position is Todd ‘The Salesman’ Sekli, who ended the day with 3,700,000 and will no doubt be looking to close the deal tomorrow.

And although he did take a couple of hits late in the day, Lei is still sitting comfortably with 3,545,000, while Sydney poker stalwarts Michele Bouskila (3,540,000) and John Caridad (2,410,000) round out the top five.


Table 32 (Feature Table)

1Al Josue1,790,000
2Michele Bouskila3,540,000
3Todd Sekli3,700,000
4Yu Chen6,020,000
5John Caridad2,410,000
6Andrew Kitchen2,085,000

Table 31

1Peter Dykes1,160,000
2Michelle Psarras2,145,000
3Jae Choi1,790,000
4Yang Lei3,545,000
5Ratheshan Kulenthirasa1,050,000
6Neozhi Han1,135,000

Play will recommence tomorrow from 11:30am AEDT and PokerMedia Australia will be back again to bring you all the action, complementing the feature table streaming over at

Be sure to bookmark and keep the link saved to your home screens to follow the Live Reporting coverage throughout the entire WPTDeepStacks Sydney series, and don’t forget to throw us a like on all our socials – Discord, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Until the next time we see you at the tables, thanks again for joining us and we’ll see you again soon. ‘Bye for now!

Arrivederci, Awerbuch

Shortly after the clock was paused and the final four hands of the night were called, Michelle Psarras picked up AQ and moved all-in; Chad Awerbuch called, showing down AJ, however neither hand changed after the dealer spread a board of 610K42.

Michelle Psarras2,17,000
Chad AwerbuchBUSTED!

And with that, Day 2 of the Opening Event is complete and it’s now time to wrap this up. Back soon!

Lei down

Having moved past the five-million chip mark briefly, Yang Lei has dropped 20% of his stack over the space of two hands.

In more the action we caught on the secondary feature table, Opening Event Day 1C chip leader Peter Dykes got his money in pre-flop with QJ, trailing Lei’s AK, but turned the straight on the board of 1098J4 to double through.

Lei then clashed in a massive hand against Yu Chen in what was one of the biggest pots of the night.

Chen raised from early position to 120,000 and action folded around to Lei who three-bet to 350,000 out of the blinds; Chen then four-bet it to 600,00 and Lei called before opening for 500,000 after the flop of 5810.

Chen called and then action repeated after Lei opened for 630,000 on the turn of the 4.

Lei then checked his option on the river 5, which prompted Chen to fire a bet worth 1,050,000. Lei tanked for almost four minutes before eventually sending his hand into the muck.

Yu Chen6,000,000
Yang Lei3,700,000

Level 27: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)

Lei up

After taking out Lewis Murray in an early hand, Yang Lei is now just shy of five milly after busting out Kevin Tan.

Tan moved in pre-flop from under the gun and action folded around to Lei who quickly called before the blinds got out of the way.

Lei: AA
Tan: 1010

Although both players made two pair on the board of 883QK, Lei was best with aces-up and Tan took his leave.

Lei Yang4,950,000
Kevin TanBUSTED!

Benson busto

Over on Table 30, action folded around to Michelle Psarras who moved all-in from the hijack wth A2; Gary Benson then short-called from the button and found himself well ahead with KK, and kept his lead after the dealer produced a flop of 934.

However, Psarras spiked the A on the turn for the overpair before Benson was wheeled out with the river 5.

Michelle Psarras1,720,000
Gary BensonBUSTED!

Awerbuch back in business

In more of the action we witnessed on the secondary feature tables, Chad Awerbuch scored a big double up through Hongbin Guo.

Although we weren’t able to get all the details, there was heavy action all the way down a board of 8649K before Awerbuch tabled AA for the nut flush to secure the double.

Chad Awerbuch1,855,000
Hongbin Guo1,200,000

Level 26: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)

Et tu, Vu?

Hai Vu has just been sent packing at the hands of Michel Bouskila, who is now close to hitting the five-million chip mark.

Although Vu got his money in good after a flop of 362 holding 88, Bouskila’s K9 hit the flush with the 2 before the river 4 completed the board.

Michel Bouskila4,600,000

The top 24

With three players eliminated leading up to the break, we were able to complete a full round of counts during the intermission with the assistance of the Star Poker Sydney crew.

A friendly reminder that if you already haven’t done so, tune in to to check out all the feature table action along with all the highlights here at PokerMedia Australia!

Michele Bouskila3,095,000
Yang Lei3,015,000
Yu Chen2,785,000
Zhihan Neo2,210,000
Todd Sekli1,925,000
Kevin Tan1,845,000
Chad Awerbuch1,275,000
Kiavash Arbabi1,225,000
Gajun Kulen1,225,000
Al Josue1,100,000
Lewis Murray1,050,000
John Caridad990,000
Peter Dykes945,000
Jerry Wang900,000
Jimmy Kinnane865,000
Andrew Kitchen865,000
Michael Culibrk855,000
Michelle Psarras805,000
Jae Choi760,000
Hai Vu470,000
Gary Benson405,000
Jeremy Fineman345,000
Hongbin Guo240,000
George Kanaan35,000

Level 25: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)

Break it down

Time for another 10-minute break! We’ll be back with a full round of counts for you shortly.

Saunders slaughtered

Having stepped into the spotlight with his deep run in the Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event, Yang Lei continues his quest for glory here in Sydney after eliminating Trevor Saunders.

Sanders got his money in pre-flop well ahead with AA against Lei’s QQ; Lei turned a set on the 1037QK board to send Saunders to the rail.

Yang Lei1,685,000
Trevor SaundersBUSTED!

Solo slammed down fast

Sydney physio Brett Solo has been eliminated by Chad Awerbuch as action continues in the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Opening Event.

Solo moved all-in for the last of his short stack with 97 after a flop of 8109, but Awerbuch snapped him off with 88 for middle set.

Despite turning the straight with the J, Awerbuch filled up with the repeat J on the river.

Chad Awerbuch1,075,000
Brett SoloBUSTED!

Clash of the titans

Two of our Opening Event Day 1 chip leaders have gone toe-to-toe, with Romain Morvan’s story ending at the hands of Peter Dykes.

Having nursed his short stack through to the final three tables, Morvan got it in pre-flop with A7, but Dykes woke up with AK which hit two pair on the board of K8486.

Peter Dykes1,585,000
Romain MorvanBUSTED!

Level 24: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)

Chen cuts into Benson

Action folded around to Yu Chen who raised to 75,00 from the hi-jack position before Gary Benson called from the button to go heads-up to a flop of 1028, which they both checked.

Chen then fired another 75,000 after the turn of the 2; Benson called, then repeated his action after Chen opened for 180,000 on the river 4. Chen then showed down A7.

“Good call, you got me,” muttered Benson as he tabled KJ.

Yu Chen2,325,000
Gary Benson960,000

Amari annihilated

George Kanaan has just felted Nadina Amari over on Table 31 as the field in this Opening Event moved down to just four tables.

Amari moved the last of his chips in pre-flop with A6, but despite turning an Ace against Kanaan’s KK on the board of 48JA, the river K gave Kanaan the set and the scoop.

But although Kanaan moved up to 650,000 after that hand they’ll have some work to do if they want to catch Michel Bouskila, who has been sighted by our crew as the first past the two-million mark!

Michel Bouskila2,775,000
George Kanaan650,000
Nadine AmariBUSTED!
Michel Bouskila

Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (25,000)

Bautista blasted

Yu Chen is now almost at 1.5 million chips after taking out John Bautista before the start of Level 23.

Bautista jammed the last of his chips in with Q10, but reeled after Chen iso-raised, forcing the blinds out of the way before she tabled AK.

There was nothing but Bautista could do but watch as the board of 7975J ran clean for Chen. Game over, man.

Yu Chen1,395,000
John BautistaBUSTED!

Shepherd shafted

The bust-outs are starting to ramp up here in the Opening Event, with a small queue forming at the payout desk, with Martin Finger and Phil Shepherd amongst those to have now cashed out.

Shepherd’s elimination came at the hands of Con Angelakis after he moved the last of his short stack into the middle with QJ, only to see Angelakis’ A9 hit two pair on the flop of 88A and then filling up after the turn and river ran out 8, 6.

Con Angelakis475,000
Phil ShepherdBUSTED!

Level 22: 10,000/25,000 (25,000)

Brasile building

Peter Brasile has also joined the millionaire’s club, eliminating Greg Manning as we approach Level 22.

It was another all-in-call pre-flop situation, this time with Manning running his 99 into the JJ of Brasile, which held after the board was spread 58A7A.

Peter Brasile1,100,000
Greg ManningBUSTED!

Levy is dry

Michael Levy has been confirmed amongst the latest group of players to collect from the cage after being taken out by Jay Choi.

Levy open-shoved with 33, but Choi woke up with 77 before the dealer produced a board of K9244 to send Levy to the rail.

Jay Choi900,000
Michael LevyBUSTED!

Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)

Kang goes bang

As the starting field for Day 1 of the WPTDeepStacks $1,100 NLH Freezeout started taking their seats, Alba Qi found herself flipping with AK against the 77 of Hyunku Kang.

The dealer brought the 7 in the window and Kang clapped, but the rest of the table let out a loud “OHHHH!” as the 75 trailed behind to complete the flop.

The turn and river of 3, 8 were merely a formality, but although Qi was eliminated a short time later, both she and many of our eliminated players are now in amongst the action in Event #2 and there’s literally no spare seat in the house, as even the chairs at the PMA Live Reporting hotdesk were pinched before quickly being replaced!

Hyunku Kang440,000

Gerogiou goes

After a raise from under the gun, action folded around to John Caridad who called on the button before Phillip Georgiou three-bet-shoved from the small blind with J9.

Zhi Han Neo then came in with an iso-shove out of the big blind with KK and forced everyone else out of the way before the dealer spread a board that read 8Q334 to improve Neo to two pair.

Zhi Han Neo560,000
Phillip GeorgiouBUSTED!

Level 20: 8,000/16,000 (16,000)

Break it down

Back in 10 minutes, folks – see you soon!

Melson AWOL

As we stopped by Gary Benson’s table, we noticed that one Charles Melson had yet to make an appearance, with his stack sitting on top of his registration slip and being gradually blinded out.

Unlike the TDA standard, where a hand is auto-mucked and all blinds surrendered, the Star Sydney rule is that an absent player’s hand is still live on the big blind, even when they are all-in.

This means that theoretically, Melson could win the tournament without even playing a hand, though the odds against that happening would be astronomical (especially now that all his chips are gone).

That said, we have it on good authority that the rules are being changed to be consistent across all Star Entertainment properties and in time for the WPT Prime series at The Star Gold Coast in June.

The good news is, however, is that Melson’s prize is being held at the cashier cage, so Charles – if you’re out there, come and see the friendly team here at The Star Sydney!

Charles MelsonBUSTED!

Caris cut

After being crippled at the hands of Suzy Khouiss, Chuck Caris was felted at the hands of Yu Chen, who is now amongst a number of players who have reached the one-million chip mark, including Singapore’s own Ricky Wu, Peter Brasile and Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson.

Earlier, Caris got his money in with pocket nines, but ran face-first into the bullets of Khouiss to double her through; down to just 90,000 in chips, he moved them all-in pre-flop a few hands later with A-Q, but Chen woke up with JJ and held.

Yu Chen1,050,000
Suzy Khouiss200,000
Chuck CarisBUSTED!

Level 19: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)

Death by a salesman

Todd Sekli has now moved up to almost half a million in chips after eliminating Glenn Mulcahy and in the process moving us all all into the money!

Immediately after Milan Stojkovic was eliminated, the PMA Live Reporting crew dashed over to catch the showdown between Mulcahy and Sekli.

Sekli: KK
Mulcahy: 1010

Mulcahy pumped his fists after the flop came down 10QA, but that elation soon turned to anger as the J appeared on the turn to give Sekli the straight, which held after the 6 came down on the river.

Mulcahy kicked his seat in frustration before storming out the room; understandable given the sick beat, but as they say … that’s poker.

Todd Sekli495,000
Glenn MulcahyBUSTED!

One away!

It didn’t take long for us to get down to the bubble, with Milan Stojkovic eliminated in 153rd place at the hands of Yu Chen.

Stojkovic ripped in the last of his stack pre-flop with K-Qo, but was called off by Chen who tabled A2.

Chen then improved to two pair after the board was spread 28568.

Yu Chen258,000
Milan StojkovicBUSTED!

Level 18: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

Break time

Our remaining 157 players are now on a 20-minute comfort break. We’ll be back right after this!

That’s gotta hurt

Massive three-way all-in over on Table 10, where we caught WPT League Illawarra’s Tyson Orth and Wai Shing both at risk against Al Josue. For the first time this series, Danny McDonagh called the action over the mike.

“Oh boy, would you look at this?” McDonagh quipped, prompting several players to jump up out of their seats. “Kings, all in against Kings, all in against Aces!”

Josue: AA
Orth: KK
Shing: KK

Board: 29646. Ouch.

All smiles for Josue as he raked in a pot worth more than 500K, while Au and Orth headed to the exits shaking their heads in disbelief.

Al Josue690,000
Wai ShingBUSTED!
Tyson OrthBUSTED!

Smile, you’re on stream!

Presenting today’s starting nine on the Star Poker Sydney feature table which is broadcasting right now over at Theo Dharma returns alongside fellow Sydneysiders Richie Samia and Sam Capra, but making his first appearance on Table 32 is none other than WA’s own Travis Endersby!

Feature table starting line-up

1Jazz A. Mathers115,000
2Dean Blayney217,000
3Siham Chalghin106,000
4Bohden Schapps67,000
6Travis Endersby135,000
7Theo Dharma82,000
8Sam Capra223,000
9Richie Samia220,000

Level 17: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)

Ichilcik clipped

Action has been relatively steady throughout the Star Poker Room during this first level, but as we began our first round of photos, we picked up action between Derek Ichilcik and Darius Bucinskas.

All the money was in the middle pre-flop; Ichilcik was at risk, but had got it in good with [invalid notations], but Bucinskas doubled through after the dealer spread the board of 4934A.

Don’t forget ladies and gents: if you want to get yourself on the blog, join the PMA Discord server right now and drop your hand histories into our #submit-a-hand text channel!

Darius Bucinskas369,000
Derek Ichilcik174,000

It’s all about that money, honey

Time now for the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Opening Event financials in brief!


Players Paid151
Minimum Payout$1,057
Total Prize Pool$812,700



Shuffle up and deal!

Cards are now in the air for Day 2 of the Opening Event! Tournament staff have confirmed that we’ll be playing through until the end of Level 27 or until we reach the final table, whichever comes first.

We’ve also verified that the top 151 players will be paid, meaning that we’re only 36 spots away from the money. Payout dividends coming your way very soon!

Level 16: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia and to The Star Sydney for Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Opening Event!

Our remaining 187 players are now un-bagging their chips in preparation for today’s session, which gets underway at 11:30am AEDT. Blind levels are now 45 minutes in duration.

Lock your browsers onto for all our Live Reporting updates and follow us on Discord, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and Discord for even more news headlines and exclusive content!


Players Remaining187
Total Entries1,204
Recommencing Blinds3,000/6,000 (6,000)
Average Stack161,500 (27 BBs)

The total prize pool has reached a staggering $812,700, setting the stage for what looks to be a record-setting series in Australia.

Day 1A chipleader Romain Morvan still leads the way, after his movie-esque story from Wednesday; he was eliminated on the very first hand of play, only to re-enter and eventually bag 531,000, making him the only player over half a million today. He is followed by Khal Fayad (448,000), Andrew Kitchen (440,000), and Aaron Li (417,000).

Romain Morvan

Day 2 seat draw

Table 1

1Lau, Heng seng192,000
2Bautista, Jordan199,000
3Li, Aaron s417,000
4Tran, Michael101,000
5Chen, Yung chiang31,000
6Vigar, Zac121,000
7Melson, Charles147,000
8Sebesfi, David199,000
9Karageorge, George195,000

Table 2

1Morvan, Romain531,000
2Angelakis, Con154,000
3Logan, Ian141,000
4Blight, Craig122,000
5Soumelidis, Michail170,000
6Salloum, Wael135,000
7Lien, Jason88,000
8Rais, Carlos57,000
9Kruezi, Denny166,000

Table 3

1Kinnane, James50,000
2Burns, Bradley130,000
3Chu, Chewy68,000
4Long, Jian201,000
5Saab, David48,000
6Herring, Matthew84,000
7Tenheggeier, Greta103,000
8Davis, Richard300,000
9Trayner, Malcolm177,000

Table 4

1Arbabi, Kiavash282,000
2Saunders, Trevor212,000
3Pham, Dinh231,000
4Elias, Mina85,000
5Kulenthuirarasa, Ratheshan239,000
6Tambouras, Stephen102,000
7Mehta, Pratik222,000
8Staples, Mark104,000
9Ang, Zhixiang187,000

Table 5

1Hosseini-nasab, Seyed221,000
2Amari, Nadim158,000
3Hayden, Travis122,000
4Applegarth, Steven176,000
5Spano, Luke96,000
6Priest, Michael267,000
7Koni, Tarik56,000
8Kanaan, Michael173,000
9Wang, Enhao64,000

Table 6

1Murray, Lewis132,000
2Lucisano, Salvatore161,000
3Mangano, Xavier132,000
4Feng, Zhao134,000
5Hirst, David86,000
6Ringrose, Christopher151,000
7Han, Shuang136,000
8Kambouroglou, Tony219,000
9Robertson, Peter114,000

Table 7

1Asaadi, Pooria149,000
2Foster, Dylan127,000
3Kitchen, Andrew440,000
4Yu, Song70,000
5Li, Wang129,000
6Condello, Dean61,000
7Chen, Josh94,000
8Tunbridge, Zachary101,000
9Neo, Zhi han210,000

Table 8

1Dykes, Peter376,000
2Michael, Andrew305,000
3Ghezelbash, Ali203,000
4Kim, Anthony76,000
5Gu, Hong47,000
6Fineman, Jeremy134,000
7Yacoub, John107,000
8Lie, Tjhai fui89,000
9Webster, Mitchell152,000

Table 9

1Benson, Gary277,000
2De gail, Peter67,000
3Caridad, John232,000
4Li, De kun125,000
5Vandersluis, Roy109,000
6Kamiya, Leo165,000
7Tartak, Paul84,000
8Usljebrka, Branko146,000
9Thatcher, Jarrod102,000

Table 10

1Au, Peter89,000
2Maroulis, John63,000
3Joseph, Mark59,000
4Wang, Zhiyu295,000
5Orth, Tyson260,000
6Abdine, Shivan97,000
7Nguyen, Tri79,000
8Josue, Al211,000
9Haidary, Mo163,000

Table 11

1Sekli, Todd250,000
2Chiu, Edwin182,000
3Lin, Jianwei136,000
4Fisher, Slade95,000
5Kwan, Robert386,000
6Bouskila, Michel228,000
7Mulcahy, Glenn204,000
8Quigley, Fergal108,000
9Poulivaati, David155,000

Table 12

1Ruan, Jianguo215,000
2Ichilcik, Derek226,000
3Kang, Kei211,000
4Qi, Xin272,000
5Hovagimian, Vahe77,000
6Bucinskas, Darius153,000
7Kroesen, Rick201,000
8Spano, Robert136,000
9Shepherd, Phillip115,000

Table 13

1Awerbuch, Chad254,000
2Culibrk, Michael146,000
3Fixari, Thibaut27,000
4Moore, Peter249,000
5Tan, Wah240,000
6Manning, Greg127,000
7Yang, Li135,000
8Levy, Michael253,000
9Zhang, Zhengmin62,000

Table 14

1Smith, Fletcher134,000
2Caris, Charles280,000
3Psarras, Michelle70,000
4Mitchell, Josh143,000
5Khoueis, Suzy174,000
6Duce, Zachary118,000
7Chen, Yu chen283,000
8Rubie, Brendon313,000
9Stojkovic, Milan183,000

Table 26

1Younan, Hassib70,000
2Cohen, Justin54,000
3Choi, Jae197,000
4Sweeney, Nathan92,000
5Garland, Dylan262,000
6Stephson, Lawerence201,000
7Panourakis, Stephen214,000
8Wyvill, Janet29,000
9Adams, Cam76,000

Table 27

1Finger, Martin215,000
2Doringer, John127,000
3Bailey, Brandon287,000
4Sandi, Sandi105,000
5R 425681182,000
6Wong, Fook sang241,000
7Li, Fan211,000
8Johnson, Terence91,000
9Patodia, Vb112,000

Table 28

1Brasile, Peter287,000
2Sun, Haowen124,000
3Ong, Jingxiang230,000
4Wisnewski, Hayden50,000
5William, Alan161,000
6Guo, Hongbin165,000
7Ratul, Sayak88,000
8Rozova, Natalia51,000
9Cierco, Anthony222,000

Table 29

1Krom, Yoeri169,000
2Vu, Hai221,000
3Georgiou, Phillip275,000
4Thomson, John169,000
5Peng, Percy78,000
6Rolfe, Matthew57,000
7Lei, Yang100,000
8LaRusso, Joseph92,000
9Fayad, Khal448,000

Table 30

1Lam, Wai157,000
2Tarbert, David372,000
3Choong, Yita111,000
4Ma, Zhi270,000
5Gan, Wan70,000
6Mayer, Sheldon121,000
7J Paul144,000
8Gamerov, Jonathan88,000
9Foo, Yong cheong204,000

Table 31

1Lakshmanasamy, Ram kumar222,000
2Kanan, George82,000
3Chebib, Steve107,000
4Fraser, Michael145,000
5Costelloe, Nick174,000
6Byrne, Jaxon143,000
7Davies, Spencer135,000
8Faapito, Davy101,000

Table 32

1A.mathers Jazz115,000
2Blayney, Dean217,000
3Chalghin, Siham106,000
4Schaaps, Bohden67,000
6Endersby, Travis135,000
7Dharmasaputra, Theodore82,000
8Capra, Sam223,000
9Samia, Richie220,000

Stick with us here at PMA as we bring you all of the Day 2 action from conception to conclusion!

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